Fungie, the dolphin that has been charming visitors and locals in Dingle, Co Kerry for decades, has been named as the oldest solitary dolphin in the world by Guinness World Records.
Fungie, a male Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, was first sighted off the coast of Dingle in 1983, and has since become a much-loved symbol of the region. After 36 years of life in and around the harbour mouth of Dingle, he has also become a mainstay of the local tourism industry, with dedicated "Fungie boats" regularly ferrying visitors to see him. Despite some accidents and injuries in the past, Fungie is now estimated to be at least 40 years old.
Fungie received the accolade after a report from the cetacean charity Marine Connection, which reviewed the world's documented lone whales and dolphins.
The report also revealed that bottlenose dolphins are by far the most likely cetaceans to “go solo”. The second most common species were beluga whales, followed by common dolphins.